What happens when the funniest man on earth kills himself? We rush to make sense of out of the seemingly nonsensical. Humans like things to fit into a logical order. Tragedies confuse us. We ask ‘why?’, as if the entire universe should fit into our limited understanding.
Can black be white, sadness be happy and day be night? Perhaps the apparent contradictions might lead us to a deeper insight. Maybe ambiguity is a footprint of the Divine.
A Biblical injunction suggests that people should not think they have received material wealth as a result of their own personal merit* but stay connected to the higher source. This opposes our ideal of the ‘self-made man’ – we have worked hard and deserve rewards. Wasn’t that what we were taught in school?
Our neat worldview gets disrupted when things don’t fit into the boundaries of our perception. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Surely it is time to understand that we cannot fully understand, and that there are secrets beyond our grasp?
My offering for the week is simple; let us stop pretending that we are God, at least for a few days. Let us allow things not to make sense, to sit in a space of not-knowing and to experience a sense of awe, accepting that maybe we do not need to understand everything. In this space – what we might call the liminal space, that is, between two thresholds of certainty – we can experience a new sense of joy in our life.
We can sit in not knowing everything about our loved ones and discover new things about them. We can experience not know everything about our work and enjoy a fresh creative flow and find new opportunities with clients and colleagues. We can try on the idea of not knowing everything about ourselves and realise there is more to our own lives that we have yet to discover.
Amidst all of this is the simple quest to find joy. My mind goes to the moment in the film Hook when Robin William’s grown-up Peter Pan forgets his worries, realises he doesn’t need to know how to fly, but must rediscover a sense of wonder and awe by holding happy thoughts; “look Wendy, I can fly!!”. If only life could have mirrored his happy art. Maybe now it is your turn to fly.
Marcus J Freed,
*Deuteronomy 9:4. Do not say to yourself, when the Lord, your God, has repelled them from before you, saying, “Because of my righteousness, the Lord has brought me to possess this land”